Earthbound Light - Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond by Bob Johnson
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Photo Tip of the Week

Shapes and Patterns

Next time you're out shooting, try something different: rather than Sunset on Second Beachlooking at your subject matter as it is, just look at the shape of things. Look for patterns in the shapes — repeated, reflected, whatever. In this way, you reduce the complexity of the scene to its simplest form. This is what John Shaw refers to as "photo-graphics."

The photos here are examples of this technique. In the first, the shape of the clouds mirrors that of the foreground. In the second, focusing on the graphic shapes of the rocks creates a simpler, almost abstract composition.

Rocks in the sandNature is filled with complexity, but is also filled with simplicity. Focusing on shapes and patterns can be a way of learning to see the simplicity, resulting in a stronger, graphic composition style.

Date posted: November 11, 2001


Copyright © 2001 Bob Johnson, Earthbound Light - all rights reserved.
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